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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Just another Budapest weekend.

6:00 pm CET

Today was another boring day spent locked in a battle of wits with my temperamental internet and, having won, reading an almost obscenely long introduction for our new course tomorrow.

Yesterday, however, was fantastic up until the most depressing football game of my life. But I won't dwell on that; I'd rather not relive the considerable pain.

Yesterday I woke fairly early (as usual) and, since I couldn't fall back asleep (as usual), I sat around listening to music. Around noon I left, took the 49 to Astoria, transferred to the red line metro, and took it all the way to its end to meet Jacob in his neck of the proverbial woods. We took the trolleybus looking for someplace to eat, and eventually gave up and returned to the square near the metro station so we could go to the mall. It turned out that there was a fashion show going on there, so bad American pop mixes were blaring and trying to get anywhere in that section of the mall was practically impossible. We walked around for a long while (two hours, maybe?) before finally settling on a restaurant (it was more of a dessert bar, but we didn't quite care by that point). As tempted as I was to get some amazing-looking ice cream, I chose a mixed fruit palacsinta (basically a Hungarian crêpe), instead.

We left the mall and took the red line all the way to Deák Ferenc tér, where we transferred to the yellow line and took it nearly to its end to Hősök tere. From there we walked across the square to Szépművészeti Múzeum--the Musuem of Fine Arts--and bought tickets for the permanent collection. We explored most of the ground and first floors, though there were a few rooms blocked off to us because our tickets did not include the special exhibits (Botero and something else that I can't remember). My favourite part was probably their awesome, albeit small, Egyptian collection; there were several sarcophagi and statuettes and papyrus fragments and the like. I think one of their prized artifacts is this magic wand-thing made from a hippo tusk, so that was pretty cool to see.

The museum closed about an hour after we had entered, so we didn't get to see everything there. We left around five minutes before closing time and sat around on the comfortable chairs and couches the museum has set up on its front terrace, looking out across Hősök tere to Műcsarnok, the Hall of Art on the opposite side of the square. From there we hopped back on the metro and went to the Oktogon, where we got on a six tram, expecting to cross the Margaret Bridge so we could go to the same delicious restraurant in Moszkva tér that we had eaten at when Rachel visited. The construction on Margit híd, however, has reached the point where they won't allow vehicles to cross, so we found another place near the bridge to have dinner.

Following the meal (which didn't disappoint), we got on the six tram again and went back to the Oktogon, and from there we walked in search of an ice cream shop. We eventually found one near the Budapesti Operettszínház (the Budapest Operetta and Musical Theatre), where I noticed that they have a production of Rebecca: the Musical. It struck me as a little strange that a musical was made of this particular story, and I am intrigued and more than a little wary... but perhaps I'll go anyway, even though I won't understand a word.

Jacob and I split at the Blaha Lujza tram stop, where he transferred to the metro and I continued on toward Móricz Zsigmond körtér and home. It turned out that the girl sitting across the aisle from me was a participant in the Budapest Semester in Mathematics last year and she knows some people in BSCS this year, so we talked for the rest of the ride until we had to part ways in Móricz. Small world, eh?

This weekend wasn't particularly restful... but, then again, I don't really know of a time when I've ever been completely well-rested. It goes without saying, though, that weekends should be a bit longer. If only so I can have more time to sleep!

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